Weight gain, anxiety, depression and more. Brie’s Story

Less than a month into the pandemic I found out that I was pregnant and I didn’t plan on keeping it. So after terminating the pregnancy I knew I needed to get on some sort of birth control, and I had already tried almost everything else, so I opted for the non-hormonal option. The vaginal ring caused EXTREME pain during intercourse, the patch caused depression and the pill caused pain with intercourse as well. After these other attempts with various contraceptives I had contemplated the copper IUD before but never pulled the trigger, but this time I felt like I had no choice so I did it. So in April of 2020 I got the copper IUD. It was fine in the beginning, the cramping was a sharper pain than before but nothing I couldn’t handle. And then after a couple of months I started noticing changes.
First of all, I gained 30 pounds in 3 months, and after being in the best shape of my life it was extremely surprising and devastating, but it was the pandemic and I was in a very happy relationship so I attributed it to happy weight. I also started craving really unhealthy, salty foods and I was constantly snacking which is very uncharacteristic of me. I noticed my hair falling out, but I was already dealing with hair issues from a product I was using so I didn’t think too much about. I even started having acne on my face and chest, which had not been a problem for me in a very long time.
Gradually after that I became depressed, and I’ve NEVER had any issues with mental health before. All the positivity has left and all I think about and focus on are negatives. I started having anxiety and panic attacks. I started having suicidal thoughts, and I lost any and all desire or motivation to do anything. Prior to this I would cook every meal, with very few exceptions, and on the weekends I would clean my whole house, run errands, do laundry and do self-care gladly and with ease. Now I don’t even want to get up to go to the bathroom. I have brain fog often, my concentration is worse than a goldfish, and my near perfect memory has gone to shit. In regards to my sexual health, I got a yeast infection that has literally never went away, and my sex drive has VANISHED I don’t even care to masturbate anymore.
Before this, I was very happy-go-lucky, and a very positive person. I was very into my health and physical fitness, and I was sharp as a tack. My sex drive was HEALTHY, my sex organs were healthy and my partner was very satisfied. Now I don’t even recognize myself, it is literally heart breaking and I feel like I’m ruining myself and hurting my loved ones around me.
The changes were so gradual and subtle at first, so it took a while before I realized there was a problem. It wasn’t until September of 2020, when the suicidal thoughts were increasing and I noticed that even my pubic hair was falling out, that I realized something was wrong and it had to do with the copper IUD. I took to google, obviously, and was bombarded with information that horrified me, but also was a relief at the same time since I could attribute my symptoms to something.
I had the IUD removed THAT SAME WEEK and I am still dealing with the side effects. After all the information I read on google, it seemed like the issue would resolve on it’s own in a few months, boy was I wrong. It is now March 2021 and I am still dealing with the effects of copper toxicity. I had a miscarriage in December and when I tried to tell my PCP what was wrong with me, they scoffed at me when I mentioned copper toxicity and basically said I need to see a therapist and probably need to be medicated. This has affected my personal life, my relationships (platonic and intimate) and it has deeply affected my relationship with myself. I used to love myself and now I look in the mirror in disdain because I hate who I’ve become. Had I known about these side effects I would have NEVER gotten it in the first place, now I tell all my girlfriends to never even consider the IUD.
I did start taking Zinc, Magnesium and Calcium supplements which helped and I started to feel like myself again, but I ran out in the beginning of February 2021, didn’t get my shipment of new medication and as of March the side effects are worse than before. I’m taking the supplements again and this time I will not stop taking them, probably ever. But it cannot correct the damage it has done to me, my mental health, my body and my relationships. There are many other side effects that I have dealt with or am currently dealing with that I didn’t mention in this story, I really am having a hard time keeping track of them all with how my mind has literally been in shambles. Hopefully I recover soon, and I can actually conceive in the future, since I know copper toxicity can affect fertility. Now I’m just taking it a day at a time and working on not being so hard on myself.

Submitted on March 21, 2021 

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